If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17
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These pages are designed to aid study or investigation for Christian discipleship through individual Bible study, Cell groups, Home groups, or meeting one to one. The questions could be used alone allowing each person to use their own Bible.
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The Lord asks us to rest from our work and spend time with Him. In our pressured world that can seem a tall order. At its heart this rest has three effects on us. It gives us the rest we need in body and soul, it gives us the space to lift up our eyes to God and worship Him and finally it poses the question ‘Do I trust God?’ Is my God big enough to carry the consequences of stopping from what I need to do?
We live in a world that seems driven and incapable of rest. Even those who have no work feel driven and find it hard to rest. When we rest we hear the voices within that ask the uncomfortable questions we don’t want to face. We respond by attempting to drown those voices out with activity or entertainment unable to cope with silence or stillness.
So, what does it mean to rest with Jesus? How is trust seen in rest? Why did God rest?
Rest is not an allowance because we are so weak, but is a part of our make up introduced from the beginning in creation. Here is Exodus 20:8-11 (the 4th commandment.)
Exodus 20:8-11 8 "Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.9 You have six days each week for your ordinary work,10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the LORD your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you.11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.
Moving from the Old to New Testaments there is a shift from absolute commands to guiding principles, that need to be taken seriously. Let us look at Hebrews 4:1-3 which brings this up in a New Testament context.
Hebrews 4:1 God's promise of entering his rest still stands, so we ought to tremble with fear that some of you might fail to experience it.2 For this good news—that God has prepared this rest—has been announced to us just as it was to them. But it did them no good because they didn't share the faith of those who listened to God.*3 For only we who believe can enter his rest. As for the others, God said,
"In my anger I took an oath: 'They will never enter my place of rest,'"*
even though this rest has been ready since he made the world.
Jesus encourages a lifestyle of rest when we walk alongside Him, sharing His burdons.
Matthew 11: 27 "My Father has entrusted everything to me. No one truly knows the Son except the Father, and no one truly knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him."
28 Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light."
Pressure will drive us to work because we don’t believe that all can be done in the time. This brings us to the key question: Do I trust God for all my needs? Here is a text that Jesus spoke in Matthew 6:25-34
Matthew 6:25 "That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn't life more than food, and your body more than clothing?26 Look at the birds. They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren't you far more valuable to him than they are?27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? .... Why do you have so little faith? 31 "So don't worry about these things, saying, 'What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?'32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.33 Seek the Kingdom of God* above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. 34 "So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today.
Here is an example of two sisters in a tight spot and a surprising evaluation from Jesus concerning their choices. Luke 10:38 - 42
Luke 10:38 38 As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home.39 Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord's feet, listening to what he taught.40 But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, "Lord, doesn't it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me."
41 But the Lord said to her, "My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details!42 There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her."
Many Christians take a day of rest a week. This is called the Sabbath rest. Now we are no longer under law. Rather it is a principle of God. If we stray far from it we are likely to do damage. Here is a passage Romans 14:5-8 which helps us understand the freedom we have from forms such as the Sabbath.
Romans 14:5 In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. You should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable.6 Those who worship the Lord on a special day do it to honor him. Those who eat any kind of food do so to honor the Lord, since they give thanks to God before eating. And those who refuse to eat certain foods also want to please the Lord and give thanks to God.7 For we don't live for ourselves or die for ourselves.8 If we live, it's to honor the Lord. And if we die, it's to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord
TRUST GOD - Rest